Durban - As Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and the Ingonyama Trust plan for South Africa’s “biggest land claim”, a Griqua tribe and another royal house are set to lodge their own claims for a piece of KwaZulu-Natal.
The East Griqua, a Khoisan community based in the Kokstad area, and the Nhlangwini royal house, are set to lodge their claims.
City Press reported last week that the Zulu king was about to launch South Africa’s biggest claim for land that was under control of the Zulus in 1838.
East Griqua land claims representative Cyril George Gangerdine disputed that the Zulu claim would be the largest, saying: “The biggest claim is the claim of the Khoisan.”
The Nhlangwini royal house on Sunday confirmed that it would be making claims “on behalf of all original and indigenous African inhabitants of Natal”.
Nhlangwini spokesman Prince Mqondisi Dlamini said the claim would be for land from the southern side of the Tugela River, near the Lenge Hills, as far south as the Umzimvubu River at Port St Johns, and between the Indian Ocean and Drakensberg – “which is the original traditional land of Abambo-Ngoni people”.
“(These people)… were always led by the Dlamini kings of Nhlangwini royal house, ‘since the period of 1200’.”
Dlamini estimated the size of the land that would be claimed was 5.2 million hectares. He said it had nothing to do with the Zulu kingdom, “but it has everything to do with Natal, as it was in its original formation”.
Gangerdine said the East Griqua were previously “left out” of the government, but that changed two years ago when they were “recognised” by President Jacob Zuma.
But they were still “not accommodated in the constitution, especially as far as traditionalism is concerned”.
As a nation, he said, the country needed to discuss the “ticking time bomb” of land claims. “The longer you leave it and people are not educated, the worse it will get.”
He said rock art found all over the province provided further evidence that the Khoisan were the first people in KZN.
The province’s land claims commissioner, Bheki Mbili, said the commission had received 128 claims by Friday.
He said it was easier to handle claims in and around urban areas than those in rural areas.
“Some people, because the claim is rural, can’t give a proper description of that area,” he said. “The commission can only pick up on that area when it does its research.”
On Sunday, City Press reported that the Hlubi clan, led by Bryce Mthimkhulu, who was now referred to as King Mthimkhulu III, also planned a huge claim “on behalf of the descendants of amaHlubi kings”.
According to the report, Mthimkhulu was demanding restitution and financial rights to the same tract of South Africa’s eastern seaboard as King Goodwill Zwelithini.